I invited my original partner in podcasting crime, Jessie-Lee Nichols -- who is now the design supervisor here at IMPACT -- to the Content Lab this week to talk about one of our favorite topics. Organizations often struggle with where to put content creation into a process for projects like a website redesign, creating an infographic, or... well, any other time a designer and/or developer needs to get involved to create the final product of a content piece. It makes sense. Content creators and marketers often say they can't visualize the space their content is supposed to go into, so they want to see a full design before they start working on content. On the other hand, designers and developers push back on that logic, because they can't effectively design a final product without knowing the substance of the content they're supposed to be supporting with their creative talents. Moreover, they say there are other steps that need to occur before you get to play with fonts and colors. Obviously, there's a disconnect.
Today’s conversation is a bit different. Instead of talking about storytelling tactics and how to become a better writer, we’re getting technical this week. More specifically, I’ve invited Franco Valentino of Narrative SEO to join me on this episode to talk about how content creators should be blending the art of content creation with the science of technical SEO. To be honest, this is a discussion I would have dreaded a year or two ago. The way a child might dread going to the dentist.
Happy Wednesday to you all -- and for many of you, I bid you a happy INBOUND or Content Marketing World week! This year, I find myself not in Boston or Cleveland for either event. Instead, I’m here in my home office in Annapolis, Maryland, with two dogs and a cat, the latter of which has a snoring problem. (Honestly, I didn’t know cats snored.) Anyway, while I’m bummed to be missing out on the action, I will say I love weeks like this. Since much of my team is up in Boston at HubSpot’s INBOUND conference, I get to spend almost the entire week in my little content cave completely uninterrupted. In case you didn't know, my quiet little content cave is where I’m happiest.
"Brand storytelling." It's one of those concepts that sounded so deep and powerful when everyone first started talking about it. Sadly, it wasn't long before it was labeled as yet another well-meaning phrase that was completely ruined by marketers. (As the joke goes, "marketers ruin everything," right?) Regardless of its "buzzword-y" reputation, however, brand storytelling matters in a very big way. Because the brands that know how to tell their story effectively and authentically will always outperform those that don't. Period.
I am back from vacation, and I have to admit that while I was excited to go on vacation, I am very happy to be back at my desk. Taking time off from work can be strangely stressful in a way, because it's easy to feel... well, lazy and useless, instead of relaxed, if you opt for a "staycation" like I did. That said, my "Welcome back!" to-do list right now is somewhat terrifying, so I'm going to set it aside for a moment to dive into this week's episode of Content Lab. At IMPACT, we publish more than 20 articles a week on our blog and have more than 50 contributors working with us at any given time to get that done. The woman behind all of this? Ramona Sukhraj, IMPACT’s Head of Editorial Content. I invited her to join me this week to talk about what it takes to be the person who owns content for an organization. Ramona and I know from experience that there's so much more to content management than formatting and publishing and wrangling a content calendar. From managing people and personalities, to handling missed deadlines and quality coaching, we talk about everything you need to know -- and what most folks won't tell you -- about how to be a great content manager without going insane. Enjoy!
This week, I am on vacation. (Today, I plan to do something crazy like grocery shopping or dropping off the dry cleaning. Watch out, world! I'm a woman living on the edge!) But before I head out into the world, I want to share this week's episode of Content Lab, which features a conversation with one of my greatest professional inspirations -- Tamsen Webster, idea whisperer and former executive producer of TEDx Cambridge. As you all probably know, last week was IMPACT Live, which I wrote about at length on Monday. In addition to spending two days melting under the hot Hartford summer sun, I had a chance to speak about pillar content. Don't worry, this week isn't another conversation about pillar content. Instead, I invited Tamsen Webster to talk with me about the potency and power of spoken content. Yes, spoken content is a thing.
People in our industry talk a lot about wanting to be thought leaders, which makes sense. You don't want to sound like your competitors. You want to differentiate yourself with bold ideas and opinions that challenge convention.
When I ask marketers, "What is the most common reason content projects fail," typically they say the actual content creation stage is the culprit. It's true that a lot of projects end up needing to dump their proverbial Starship Enterprise Warp Core due to a failure in the writing of the words department. But one of the most insidious and more common reasons content projects fail is also the one that's most often overlooked: The content workflow that's supposed to be governing a project is broken.